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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Presidential Visit to Japan, North

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DE RUEHKO #2626 3170358
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P 130358Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7515
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7400
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1219
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1830
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3076
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8496
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7978
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002626

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR, EAP/J, EAP/P,
PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - PRESIDENTIAL VISIT TO JAPAN, NORTH
KOREA, AND AFGHANISTAN

1. LEAD STORIES: All Friday morning papers gave top or front-page
play to the Government Revitalization Unit's continued review on
Thursday of fiscal 2010 budget requests.

2. "'Uncertain Situation' Should Be Improved" The conservative
Sankei argued in an editorial (11/13): "President Obama will visit
November 13 and hold a summit meeting with Prime Minister
Hatoyama.... We welcome the U.S.'s decision to select Japan as the
starting point of his first trip to Asia as president. This appears
to demonstrate the U.S.'s position of placing importance on the
U.S.-Japan alliance as a 'cornerstone of its Asia-Pacific policy.'
However, it is regrettable that the President's first visit to Japan
will likely produce few results for the alliance. The issue of MCAS
Futenma relocation, the largest concern for the alliance, will be
postponed due to Prime Minister Hatoyama's 'indecision.'... In order
to prevent the alliance from hollowing out, Hatoyama should make a
decision promptly."

3. "We Should Not Overreact to a 'Staged Crisis'" The liberal
Mainichi stated in an editorial (11/13): "The USG announced ahead of
President Obama's Asian trip that it will send Special
Representative for North Korea Policy Bosworth to Pyongyang. The
visit is aimed at persuading North Korea to return to the Six-Party
Talks to make progress on the North Korean nuclear issue.... Right
before this announcement, North and South Korean vessels exchanged
fire in the Yellow Sea. It is highly likely that North Korea was
intentionally trying to create a stir. Both the U.S. and South Korea
have been carefully avoiding overreacting to the incident. However,
Pyongyang might repeat this kind of 'staged crisis' in the course of
future U.S.-DPRK talks. In order to avoid being influenced by such
provocations, close coordination among relevant nations including
Japan is indispensable."

4. "Japan Should Make Bold Efforts to Help Afghanistan" The liberal
Asahi editorialized (11/13): "The Hatoyama administration has
revealed its new assistance measures for Afghanistan.... The GOJ's
decision to allocate substantial funds to its civilian assistance
measures makes sense.... The Hatoyama administration plans to halt
the MSDF's refueling operation in the Indian Ocean next January....
Some people criticize the Hatoyama administration's policy as
'checkbook diplomacy.'... However, this criticism is irrelevant.
Rather than bending to foreign pressure, Japan should take an
independent and level-headed approach in considering what it can and
should do for the stabilization of Afghanistan. Since Japan can only
play a limited military role, providing as much civilian assistance
as possible would probably be appropriate."


ROOS

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